The Medieval Warm Period

This article is interesting as it's the first time a senior pro Global Warming scientist has admitted that the MWP could have been global (link below). The argument up until now has been that we only have evidence from the northern hemisphere, not the southern, so it was not global. The truth is that we have so little evidence from the southern hemisphere that ... well, one shouldn't really use lack of evidence to claim it didn't occur there. Lack of proof is not proof of a lack of warming.

The MWP is very well attested in terms of archaeology, particulaly in Greenland, which really was green then, and farmed. It came to an end after the Black Death in 1351 killed one in three in Europe. This is an interesting and over-looked point by climate skeptics; fewer people meant less farming (it also led to the Modern era and the end of serfdom), less farming meant more vegetation, and forests creeping back onto lands that had been fields. Surely that suggests that there could have been an element of human involvement in the earlier rising temperatures, if man's decimation can be linked to the falling temperatures at the end of the MWP?

An earlier warm period is attested in the archaeological record by finds such as Oetzi in the Alps. We know that thousands of years ago humans inhabited the lands now covered in glaciers; as the glaciers melt, we find evidence of their lives, and this would seem to contradict the argument that the Alpine glaciers have been there since the beginning of time.

Humans have always evolved to cope with climate change. One can even argue that had it not been for climate change, then the people who became the ancient Egyptians would not have moved from the once lush savannahs turning into deserts, nor settled on the banks of the Nile, nor founded what would become our first civilization. So we owe culture, writing, history, farming, music, poetry, and a thousand other delights, ultimately to ... climate change.


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1 comment:

  1. I've had two problems with so much of the advocacy for Global Warming. First, as you point out, is we're talking about things that take place in part on something closer to geologic timeframes, and we don't have the data. Second, projections are based on computer models, and as someone whose degree is in math and has spent his life in the computer industry, I'm aware of how many driving/simplifying assumptions you have to make to get such a model to run.

    It's not that I disagree with the premise that the Earth has warmed considerably over the last 100 years, it's the rest of the baggage, particularly (a) we understand this as well as they say; (b) we know what will happen under various scenarios based on computer models, that I basically don't trust.

    And as Charles Darwin would say, "adapt and evolve"... The historical/archeological record is definitely worth citing here. Whether it's sea level changes in the Med or the Little Ice Age, we've been here before.


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